Mass Health and Human Services Blog

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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Top 10 Reasons Why the Affordable Care Act if Good For Massachusetts Posted on Sep 30

Top 10 Reasons Why the Affordable Care Act if Good For Massachusetts

#10: Creates new protections to ensure your insurance plan covers you when you need it. Massachusetts already has strong insurance protections and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) enhances these protections by eliminating limits on the amount of benefits you can receive.
#9: Expands Coverage for Young Adults. Young Adults will be able to stay on their parent’s coverage until age 26.
#8: Strengthens the primary care system, while supporting community health centers. The ACA has already provided more than $130 million to community health centers in Massachusetts to strengthen their programs, while expanding access to primary care for community members.
#7: Reduces childhood obesity and tobacco use. The Department of Public Health is using ACA grants to improve emergency medical services to children, reduce childhood obesity, and encourage tobacco cessation.
#6: Rewards quality of care, rather than quantity. Supports the goals of the Commonwealth’s 2012 cost containment law by promoting the formation of Accountable Care Organizations that reward quality and efficiency of care, rather than the quantity of care.
#5: Makes prescription drug coverage more affordable for seniors. Closes the “donut hole” gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage. Nearly 60,000 seniors in Massachusetts saved an average of $667 each on prescription drugs in 2012, and will save more as the donut hole is closed completely.
#4: Covers preventive health services with no co-pay. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most health plans must cover a set of preventive services like shots, smoking cessation incentives, and cancer screening tests at no cost to the consumer. This will help increase access to critical preventative care on the short term, and save lives in the long run.
#3: Provides tax credits to small businesses and increased coverage for employees.
Establishes tax credits for certain small employers to make it more affordable to cover their employees, which can be combined with additional wellness rebates through the Health Connector. Very low-income employees who cannot afford their employer’s coverage will become newly eligible for MassHealth, without any penalty for employers.
#2: Ensures affordable coverage for more middle income families. The ACA extends health subsidies to those with incomes from 300% up to 400% of the federal poverty level (approx. $46,000 for an individual) making health insurance affordable for more low-and-middle-income families.
#1: Builds on the success of Massachusetts health reform. The ACA puts into place comprehensive reforms that will improve access to care and establish new protections for patients, while directing billions to Massachusetts to help enhance our already nation-leading coverage. Overall, the Commonwealth will benefit substantially from the ACA.

Let’s Celebrate Citizenship! Posted on Sep 17

Let’s Celebrate Citizenship!

Today, we celebrate Citizenship Day. On this date in 1787, the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed America’s foundational government document, and is now celebrated in a federal observance that highlights citizenship as our common bond to the Constitution. The Unites States, known as the Land of   …Continue Reading Let’s Celebrate Citizenship!

Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke Marks 12th Anniversary of the September 11 With Day of Service Posted on Sep 16

Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke Marks 12th Anniversary of the September 11 With Day of Service

The Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke marked the 12th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks with a solemn ceremony and with a National Day of Service that included volunteers building historical biographical sketches of Soldiers’ Home veterans. Since 2001, individuals and organizations have responded to   …Continue Reading Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke Marks 12th Anniversary of the September 11 With Day of Service

Massachusetts is First State in the Nation to Register with the Alzheimer’s Early Detection Alliance Posted on Sep 13

Massachusetts is First State in the Nation to Register with the Alzheimer’s Early Detection Alliance

On September 13, 2013, Paul Dietl, the Commonwealth’s Chief Human Resources Officer, signed on to the Alzheimer’s Early Detection Alliance, on behalf of all state employees. Massachusetts is the first state to register, joining 100 businesses who have signed on to the AEDA on behalf of   …Continue Reading Massachusetts is First State in the Nation to Register with the Alzheimer’s Early Detection Alliance

Together We’re Ready: Emergency Preparedness Month Posted on Sep 6

Together We’re Ready: Emergency Preparedness Month

Being prepared takes more than any one single action; it’s the result of many collective actions that lead to preparedness. Similar to other ‘I should do things,’ when facing a demanding task many of us choose to do nothing at all with an excuse that   …Continue Reading Together We’re Ready: Emergency Preparedness Month